There are people in this world who, though they are not American, believe in the justice of America’s cause. It sometimes happens that they commit their lives to an unkind fate by becoming America’s allies. This has happened in Iraq. Those who most loved America face the cruelest fate. Americans are represented by politicians who are the artisans of this fate.
Like avant-garde art, American foreign policy sometimes is designed to shock decent people. The spectacle of slaughter; the fear for one’s wife or child; the sure humiliation of being foolish about America; petty things and terrible things come together to form a whole; there is nothing to be done but to say what one sees or fears; there is nothing then left but to see those fears come alive.
Today I read this article by National Review‘s Mr. Nordlinger, who seems to moonlight as conservative America’s man of honor. He remembers and says all the things people with their busy lives cannot remember and say. How does that man live–knowing so many shameful things?
Well, before shame turns into guilt, there is something to be done. These men are asking to be allowed to come to America, lest they be slaughtered. These people could be saved if the State Department approves their special visas–they have risked their lives alongside Americans who knew and loved them–as men are wont to do who risk their lives together.
But that was then–this is now–there is no need to help them save for honor. Mr. Nordlinger speaks of men who helped America in Iraq only to be abandoned by the State Department. You and I know that untold numbers have been slaughtered for being America’s allies, and American politicians looked away. This has cost neither America nor those politicians a thing.
Last week, I wrote about Last Days in Vietnam, the documentary about the desperate attempt by American men to save as many Vietnamese as they could before the fall of Saigon. That was 40 years ago. Mr. Nordlinger recalls this as well. How selfless the work those men did; how futile, as policy, when their bosses looked away.
America is very like God–when America turns her face away from people, untold horrors occur. These lawyers from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and the Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project (formed by Yale Law School students) have sued Secretary of State Kerry–they wish to play a kind of Abraham. They wish that these few good men be saved from the onslaught.
Christians not infrequently offer their prayers to those who face ruination. It seems likes these men have nothing left but prayer.